Volume 11, Issue 4 (2020)                   LRR 2020, 11(4): 445-475 | Back to browse issues page

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Soleimani A, Sasani F, Pakatchi A. The Representation of Enemy in the Memoirs of a Woman in Captivity: A Case Study of the Book I Am Alive. LRR 2020; 11 (4) :445-475
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-25468-en.html
1- Ph.D. Candidate in Linguistics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran
2- Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran. , fsasani@alzhara.ac.ir
3- Associate Professor, Department of Quranic Sciences and Tradition, Imam Sadiq University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (2519 Views)
This research is an attempt to represent the enemy in a woman's self-portrait memoirs about Iraq’s war against Iran. Years after, those who were involved in the war have an image of an enemy which is different from the mental and cultural boundaries of those who didn’t experience war. Besides, the point of view of a woman gives a different image of the enemy. Therefore, to depict the representation of this enemy, the book "I Am Alive" by "Masoumeh Abad" was selected. This book is written directly by the person who was engaged in war and the text is not influenced by any possible chronologist or diarist helping writing the text; hence, it is considered a direct and firsthand text. By applying Lotman’s cultural semiotic theory, Echo’s theory of inventing enemy and the semiotic square of Greimas the text was analyzed. Study of the text showed that polarization, delineation and making an ideological enemy has been used to represent the enemy. The form of the enemy and the amount of hostility in this text are not fixed. The writer allocates different degrees of hostility to enemies, and we see a continuum of enemy. In some cases, as circumstances require, such as the perceived danger or helplessness, enemy is considered an insider.
1. Introduction
The Iraq-Iran’s war is the longest conventional war of the twentieth century, beginning with Iraq's invasion of Iran and lasting eight years. In the Pahlavi era, governments differed greatly over borders and water resources, and relations were very strained. With the conclusion of the, however, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein, who was at the head of the ruling Ba'ath party, unilaterally terminated the 1975 Algiers agreement and launched a large-scale attack against Iran on September 22, 1980. It was a war between two neighboring countries in which the people of both lands shared religious affiliations. For this reason, the effects of this war on the lives of the people were profound and unforgettable, especially ideologically it was unbelievable for them to deal with an enemy of the same religion was unbelievable to them.
Decades after the war, those involved in the war still have an image of the enemy that differs from the mental and cultural boundaries of those who have not experienced war. On the other hand, the way a woman conceptualizes the enemy gives a different picture of it. So, we aim to answer these questions, how enemy is formed from a woman's point of view? What mechanisms are used to represent the enemy? And does the enemy have a fixed meaning?
2. Literature Review
War memoir is one of the most common methods of recording events, both during and after the war. For this reason, many works related to the Iraq-Iran war have been written in the form of memoirs. In this regard, Kazemi (2015), Salimi-Nejad (2014), Faizi Sho’ar (2014), Mo’men Abadi (2014), Gholam Hosseinzadeh (2013), Tadi Bani (2011), Qaisari (2011), Ilkhan (1388) and Irvani (1386) in their master’s theses have studied some memories about Iraq-Iran’s war. Sasani (2005, 2008) has also collected and translated a collection of articles related to war as a socio-cultural phenomenon from various foreign authors. Numerous studies have been done in connection with the theory of cultural semiotics, including Lotman (1990, 1984), Posner (2004), Echo (2012), Sonesson (2000, 2001, 2004) and Pakatachi (2004). )
3. Methodology
This is a descriptive-analysis case study research. In order to answer the questions of this research, data were collected from first hand documents about war. The first hand document is a written piece which is written by the same person who was involved in the events of the memoirs directly and is not affected by the thoughts and opinions of those who write else’s memoirs. Also the gender and locality variables were considered. Therefore the book I am alive by Masoumeh Abad was selected. The author, Masoumeh Abad, is a young lady from Abadan and a native of the war zone. She was a captive for four years in Iraqi camps and has written a book about the memoirs of her captivity. In this study, Lotman semiosphere model, Eco inventing enemy theory, and Greimas semiotic-square model have been used to examine the data.
                                                                    4. Results
The concept of "other" has always played an fundamental role in one’s identity recognition. Whether it is a living thing or an object or a natural force. If someone feels any threat or danger from this "other", immediately recognizes him as an enemy and attributes the maximum of malice and hostility to him. In this way, the person gets the maximum distance from the "other"  and is prepared to face the possible danger from the enemy. By applying semiotic tools and echo theory, we found that the author of book I am Alive uses polarization and imagery processes to describe the enemy. She creates an ideological enemy for herself and the audience, which has the highest level of malice, and by using inter textual references to the events of the beginning of Islam, especially the Ashura incident, places the enemy in the lowest possible ideological position. The image of this enemy is completely black and has a polar nature. On the other hand, we see that the enemy in this work is not only formulated on the basis of dualism and polar binaries, but is seen as a continuous conceptual entity. Some characters have less enmity and hostility than others. . Sometimes the author raises the farthest enemies to the nearest insiders as needed to avoid potential danger The feature of continuity in representing enemy was explained via presented model which was inspired by Greimas semiotic-square
Figure 3
Continuum of the concept of the enemy
As you can see the concept of enemy can glide from the left side of axis to the right side and get close to the concept of friend. Vice versa a friend can move to the left, lose its features of being a friend and become an enemy
6. Conclusion
It can be said that the concept of enemy is a floating, unstable and graded concept. The word enemy is an empty container in which anyone or anything with different grades can be placed in different situations.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Linguistics
Published: 2020/10/1

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